With climbing costs of living, unsteady Social Security, and advancing average retirement ages, it’s no wonder that more than 40 million Americans have side hustles.
Everyone’s looking to escape the rat race, and waiting 40 years to retire no longer seems to be the way to do it. After all, you don’t have a guarantee that the company you work for will even be in the business that long.
So, the answer for many is to build an income of their own. They see starting their own businesses as a way of earning extra money, saving for retirement, or being able to leave their J-O-B for good.
The adage that it takes money to make money seems to hold them back. Don’t let that be you. You can start plenty of small businesses with little to no money upfront.
1. Health and wellness website
You’ll find so many ways to make money with a health and wellness site. One of the most successful is to start a blog and sell supplements right from your website.
To begin, you’ll need to find a reputable vitamin manufacturer and decide whether you will store the product yourself or check into dropshipping.
Dropshipping is the best way to curb your costs because you don’t spend a dime until a customer pays you. You’ll have very little risk this way, but it’s not always the most profitable process.
With dropshipping individual products, you’ll likely miss out on bulk discounts and other perks that come with purchasing large quantities.
Cleaning services are always in demand. Once you get the word out that you’re in business, you’ll probably have at least a couple of acquaintances who will be glad to put you to work.
You can choose to clean houses or businesses or both. Of course, you might find business cleaning services much more competitive, but they also usually pay better.
Most of the time, you’ll be able to use your clients’ cleaning products, but even if you have to buy your own, the costs should be minimal.
3. Event planning
The event planning business is one of the most versatile ventures you can start. It’s also a no-cost start-up because you can charge your clients deposits to cover any supplies you need to purchase or rent for their event.
If you’re good at organizing and networking, this could well be the job of your dreams. To be successful in this business, it’s important to pick a niche.
You can cater to everyone if you want to, planning everything from birthday parties to weddings. But without a specialty, it’s hard to be taken seriously.
Think about it. If you’re planning your wedding, would you choose a general party planner or an actual wedding planner? If you’re like most people, you probably want to entrust your special event to someone who knows weddings.
Choosing a niche also helps you with networking, collecting decor, and getting the best deals. For example, if you’re renting a popcorn machine from a company you frequently buy other birthday party products from, you’re more likely to get a discounted rate.
4. Online selling
Online selling is a great, low-cost business idea because you can start by selling unwanted items from around your house.
eBay is still the go-to platform for most beginners, but many of the same items can also be sold on Amazon or the Facebook marketplace.
If you’re not sure you have anything worth selling, take a look at the current “sold” listings on eBay. People unload items like coffee maker parts, electric blanket cords, and even junk drawer lots.
Don’t throw anything away without seeing if there’s a need for it. You might be surprised at the extra cash you can make.
If you excel in a particular subject or happen to have credentials that make you a natural fit, tutoring could be a great business for you to start.
The most highly sought-after tutors are usually in the STEM areas. These are science, technology, engineering, and math.
Tutoring is not a difficult business to start. All you need is a little word of mouth advertising or a couple of Facebook posts for your friends to see.
Also, a lot of websites hire tutors to teach in short increments. You can even teach English to Chinese children for an average of $20 through companies like VIPKID.